The Bahamas has traditionally been viewed as a drug trafficking, not a drug-producing country. However, in 1991, 40,000 cannabis seedlings and around a thousand adult plants were caught on the country’s Andros Island.
This changed the world’s view on Bahamas cannabis-producing capabilities, and people became more aware of the country’s hemp laws. So, if you live in the Bahamas or are planning to visit it, here’s a summary of hemp’s legal status in the country.
Make sure you read till the end so you don’t get into trouble!
Bahama’s Hemp Laws
The earliest legislation on hemp flowers in the Bahamas dates back to 1929 when the government introduced the Dangerous Drugs Act.
Under the Dangerous Drugs Act, cannabis was illegal in the country.
In 1962, the country amended the Dangerous Drugs Act to revise the definition of Indian hemp. According to the amendment, Indian hemp “includes all parts of the plant Cannabis Sativa whether growing or not from which the resin has not been extracted; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt derivative, mixture or preparation of such plant or resin.”
Under this act, if you were to be caught with hemp flowers, you could be jailed for 10 years or fined $125,000 or both.
If you were to be caught with more than two packets of cannabis, the law would assume that you intend to supply it. In this case, the punishments became more severe, and you could be fined $500,000 or be jailed for 30 years, or both.
If it was found that you intended to supply hemp flowers to a minor, punishments would become even more severe. This time, you could be fined up to $750,000 or imprisoned for 40 years, or both.
If you’ve read about all the wonderful things hemp flowers can do and wondering why the Bahaman government is so tough on them, it’s because of their association with marijuana. So, what’s the difference?
Hemp vs Marijuana
Hemp and marijuana are both derived from the cannabis plant. Due to the same origin, it’s impossible to tell the two apart just by looking or smelling them.
This similarity is exactly what has been misused by farmers and drug peddlers all around the globe. These people would cultivate and sell marijuana under hemp’s banner, provoking many governments around the world to ban hemp cultivation.
The real difference between hemp flowers and marijuana is chemical. Marijuana has considerable amounts of a psychoactive substance called THC. THC is responsible for making people “high” on marijuana and causing addiction.
Hemp has negligible THC concentration, which is why we can use it for its therapeutic potential without exposing ourselves to addiction and drug abuse.
So, is hemp legal in the Bahamas?
Unfortunately, not yet.
However, the Bahaman government is reconsidering its hemp laws.
The country’s prime minister, Hubert Minnis, has termed its cannabis laws as “outdated”.
Therefore, in October 2020, a committee responsible for planning Bahama’s economic recovery recommended legalizing hemp flowers and extracts.
Further recommendations included removing hemp and its derivative products with minimal THC concentration from regulatory limits, allowing hemp cultivation on government lands, and allowing adults to possess up to 2 ounces of cannabis.
Of course, these are only recommendations and no new hemp laws have been introduced so far.
How to buy hemp in the Bahamas?
Since hemp flowers are completely illegal in the Bahamas, your best bet would be to order hemp online from a company that ships discreetly. However, you should be aware that the possibility of your package getting confiscated at the border always exists.
You should also be aware that unlike many other countries, the Bahamas doesn’t allow hemp consumption even for medical use. The Bahaman cannabis laws are extremely stringent, and you can land in trouble even if you use hemp for medical purposes.